After 16 remarkable years as Director, Amy Barrett-Lennard has decided to step down from the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (PICA).
Ms Barrett-Lennard joined PICA in 2006, following five years as Director of Linden Centre for Contemporary Art, now Linden New Art, in Melbourne.
“My time at PICA has been the most rewarding of my professional career,” said Barrett-Lennard. “It’s been a powerful journey, but after 16 years, it’s time for me to look forward to a new future of my own.”
“The pandemic has been a period of great reflection for us all, myself included, and I am incredibly proud of the strong position I’m leaving PICA in. I think there’s truly no better time for a new Director to step in. PICA, and Perth, are on the cusp of transformation with a redeveloped cultural centre and new building on the horizon.
“It’s been a privilege to lead an organisation that is decidedly committed to supporting and fostering artists’ practices and careers. PICA will always be a place that’s dedicated to artists and art lovers alike.”
Barrett-Lennard will leave PICA at the end of August for a well-earned break before pursuing new projects.
PICA Chair Mark Clapham said: “Amy’s 16-year legacy has transformed PICA into the leading contemporary arts organisation it is today.
“PICA is unique in being the only presenting and producing institution of its kind in Perth — a model that Amy has implemented. No other exhibition and performance venue invests in new work, often throughout its development, in the way that PICA does.
“Amy has been integral in establishing PICA’s commissioning program across all artforms and is a leading advocate for practitioners, helping them realise their ambitions at crucial moments in their careers. To do this, she doubled PICA’s annual turnover, built strong relationships with government and philanthropic stakeholders, and developed a highly successful donor program.
“Amy’s commitment to programming diverse artists and welcoming diverse audiences, nurturing PICA’s growth and sustainability, and forging cultural links across continents and Country is commendable. I want to thank her for her significant contribution to the arts sector, in WA and beyond.
“The PICA Board is grateful for Amy’s service. She has worked incredibly hard, particularly over these last difficult and disrupted years, to ensure the ongoing sustainability of the organisation, while being part of envisioning a new future for it.
“This future and next redevelopment phase is part of a broader change in the Perth and Australian cultural landscape that has seen a new generation of recent leadership at many of our cultural institutions. We’re excited about these changes and look forward to a new and renewed dialogue and commitment to our artistic and broader communities.”
Following Ms Barrett-Lennard’s departure, PICA’s General Manager Georgia Malone will step into the interim role of Acting Director to oversee the delivery of PICA’s 2022 program. PICA’s Board has commenced a search for the next Director and is taking this opportunity to reflect on the leadership structure and plan for the next phase of the organisation.
Biography: Amy Barrett-Lennard
Amy Barrett-Lennard has been Director of the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (PICA) since April 2006. As a dynamic leader, she has brought vision and vitality to a range of arts organisations across Australia and internationally. She has previously held positions as: Director of the Linden Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne; Curator of the Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery, Victoria; Curator of the Goldfields Arts Centre Gallery, Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Western Australia; and Manager of the British Pavilion at the 1995 Venice Biennale. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree (Art History Major) from the University of Western Australia and a Graduate Diploma in Post-war and Contemporary Art from Sotheby’s Institute, London.
A regular contributor to the broader national arts and cultural communities, Amy has sat on numerous boards and panels including those for the Australia Council for the Arts, Arts Victoria, NETS Victoria, Museums Australia, the Victorian College of the Arts, Art on the Move and the Federal Government’s Visions of Australia program. She was President of the Contemporary Arts Organisations Australia (CAOA) network from 2009–15, a member of the Murdoch University Art Collection Board; Edith Cowan University’s CREATEC (Centre of Research in Entertainment, Arts, Technology, Education and Communications) Board and the Chamber of Arts and Culture WA Board and currently sits on the Governing Council of North Metropolitan TAFE.
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Image: Outgoing PICA Director Amy Barrett-Lennard. Photo: Danica Zuks